Two weeks ago, I attended MusiCalifornia for the first time since 2006. I first attended around 1991, and was a regular for many years. It was good to be back.
The conference has changed owners. Scott Revo (Pine Lake Music) took the conference over from its founder, O. D. Hall, three years ago. The conference has moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, from a hotel, to a church, and back in a hotel. It has struggled to find a new footing. And I think (I hope) that under Scott’s care the conference may once again become a significant time of teaching, sharing, and musical growth for the church music world.
Despite all the changes, I saw familiar faces from years past. And I met lots of new people. Ironically, there are always those folks from Nashville whom I never see EXCEPT at MusiCalifornia. We literally fly across the country to run into people that live across town. Go figure.
There were the standard publisher reading sessions from Word, Lillenas, et al. But – the conference has added an emphasis on traditional choral music. So there were also sessions from Shawnee Press, Lorenz and Alfred. I think this is a wise move. Traditional choral singing is healthy and growing in many parts of the country. The new MusiCalifornia has more of a “Big Tent” philosophy: No matter what style of music you may be doing in your church, we are all in this ministry together, trying our best to lift up the Lord in song.
Like I said, it was good to be back at MusiCal and be a part of a long tradition that suddenly feels new again.